Birds are valuable, and they need our help. That’s a core belief of the Great Wisconsin Birdathon, the Natural Resources Foundation’s annual walkathon-style fundraiser.
Each spring, the Birdathon unites thousands of birders, conservationists, and other friends of nature behind one goal -- finding as many bird species as possible in a single day while raising much-needed funds for bird conservation and research.
It’s valuable, it’s fun, and best of all, it’s for everyone -- Bird Cities as well as individuals. In recent years, more than a dozen Bird City communities -- Baraboo, Ferryville, Fox Point, Grantsburg, Green Bay, Hales Corners, Janesville, La Crosse, Marquette County, McFarland, Mequon, Mercer, Muskego, Prairie du Sac, Sauk City, Wausau, and Whitefish Bay -- have all fielded teams.
They recognized that the Birdathon was a perfect way not only to engage their residents in birding, conservation, and education but also to raise funds for local conservation projects -- including covering the annual renewal fee for their recognition as a Bird City.
This is possible because half of the money Bird Cities and other organizations raise during the Birdathon is returned to the organizations, to be used as they choose. They have all the fun, birding for a day between April 15 and June 15, while the Natural Resources Foundation does all the work, handling all donations through its convenient Great Wisconsin Birdathon website.
It’s not too early for Bird Cities to set up teams for this year’s Birdathon. To begin, visit the event's organizations page, or simply Google "Great Wisconsin Birdathon" and then click on the "Fundraise For Your Own Cause" tab.
Much of the success that Bird City Wisconsin has helped its communities achieve over the last eight years is the result of the Natural Resources Foundation’s tremendous support. As a priority project of its Bird Protection Fund, Bird City receives critical funding and outreach support that have helped it become the national conservation model that it is today.